Slender Mint Flowers

Slender Mint (Mentha diemenica)

In December when most plants had finished flowering, I noticed some pale purple flowers huddled in among long grass.  Initially, identification eluded me, so I picked a leaf off one of the plants and crushed it in my fingers.  It had a faint, but very distinct, mint scent.  Still it eluded me as the flower didn’t quite look like any that were in my Field Guides.

On the weekend I came across the book ‘Flora of the Otway Plain and Ranges 2” by Enid Mayfield  which contains clear descriptions and botanical illustrations of a range of plants found in and around the Otways in Victoria. While we don’t live directly in this region, it is close enough to us that many of the plants grow here too.  Looking at Mayfield’s description of ‘mint characteristics’ and then the various species in the family, I finally matched my photographs with a species of mint.  Just to confirm that I was on the right track, I checked on the VicVeg website to make sure that Slender Mint grows in Corangamite.  It does.

According to Mayfield, the Slender Mint plant flowers all year round, but we haven’t had flowers since January. This may simply be a matter of the kangaroos or wallabies eating them or it may be because of the very dry weather.  Mayfield does mention that they habitat is seasonally moist to dry.

According to VicVeg, an alternative name for Slender Mint is Wild Mint.

Slender Mint  Flowers
The flowers grow in clusters, have four stamens and four lobes.
Slender Mint Leaves
The leaves are ovate and appear beneath the flowers, and opposite each other.

6 thoughts on “Slender Mint (Mentha diemenica)

      1. I don’t think we have native mint has flower like that but we can buy Calamintha nepeta ssp. nepeta ‘Blue Cloud’ (Dwarf Calamint) and Calamintha grandiflora ‘Variegata’ (Variegated Calamint) from nurseries. The dwarf Calamint is small but pretty, too!

      2. I have no idea if we can buy Slender Mint from a nursery, but I know we can buy catmint because we planted some in our suburban house before we moved here! I woudn’t dare plant it here in case it ran wild. We don’t have many exotic species running wild in the bush part of the property and I want to keep it like that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Lisa

      3. Catmint is almost impossible to get rid of it…
        Do you use Slender Mint for cooking? How is it compare with spear mint or pepper mint these two common mint? — Jane

      4. I haven’t used it for cooking. Firstly because there wasn’t much of the Slender Mint growing, and secondly because I wasn’t sure if it could be used in that way. However, one of the field guides I consulted said it can be. I still think I will just leave it growing. 🙂 Lisa

Let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s